Reviewer: Tim Sheridan
Story Title: Incorporation
Script: Devin Grayson
Pencils: Phil Hester
Inks: Ande Parks
Colors: Gregory Wright
Letters: Nick J Napolitano
Editor: Nachie Castro
Publisher: DC Comics
What I like about Nightwing is it’s consistency. I’ve read this book since the beginning, and as I’ve mentioned before, Nightwing is one of my favorite characters in the DCU. I’ve gotten to know him, so every month, it’s like visiting an old friend. That is, until recently.
With this new team starting a few months ago, they started a storyline where Dick Grayson has joined the mob. He’s been living with a mob connected family, and has become one of their “muscles”. But through it all, we’ve been getting hints of Dick’s good side coming through. Sure he beats people up, but he’s at least a little honorable about it.
At the beginning of this issue, Nightwing is on his way back to Bludhaven, his former home. It all has to do with a connection to the “Villains United” miniseries that is going on right now. When he gets there, he runs into Robin, the Bat-family member who is watching over the ‘haven these days. Dick tries to sneak away before Robin notices him, but it’s too late.
I’ve always thought of Dick and Tim as brothers. I’m sure I’m not the only one to think that way either. They both were Robins, and both have Batman as a mentor. They come from different backgrounds, but both had to deal with the loss of their parents. So because of that relationship, I’ve always enjoyed seeing them together, whether it’s in combat together, or just training together. One of the first issues of these series (#5 if I’m not mistaken) is a perfect example of this relationship.
But this time, tensions are running high. Tim is physically further from Batman’s home turf than he has been, and he’s sort of on his own for the first time, and Dick is emotionally further away from everyone he ever cared about. This is a really great issue showcasing the differences between the two of them and just how much their friendship has changed. It also shows how much the characters themselves have changed over the years. For the first time, Tim seems to be the more emotionally mature one. Dick (as I’ve mentioned before) is emotionally shut off and is acting very childish.
For months I’ve been waiting for Dick to come to his senses, but for the first time, I realized that it’s not going to be that easy for him, and he has a lot more to deal with than a simple “sit down” with Batman and the gang.
The writing in this issue for the most part is very good. The mob story seems a little shoehorned in, I think it’s just because this month Dick doesn’t have anything to do with it, so it doesn’t really capture my interest. The “Villains United” tie-in is a cool twist, but really doesn’t come to fruition until the last page, and it’s not all that compelling to warrant the cliffhanger ending. In fact, the whole final scene is sort of a let-down compared to the rest of the issue, which is really great. I suppose I just wanted more of the Dick/Tim scenes.
Hester and Parks’ art is, as per usual, excellent. I think this is the first time I’ve seen their version of Robin, and I was really impressed by it. They also seem to have given Tim a haircut. He no longer had the early ’90s pseudo-punk spike, which was nice, since it’s not the early ’90s anymore.
Looking forward to where this is going, I hope the larger “Villains United” story doesn’t take too much away from the more interesting story of Dick Grayson.